Vegan Aioli

Jump to Recipe
This vegan aioli recipe will quickly become your favorite garlic dip or spread. Enjoy this nut-free sauce as a salad dressing, on burgers, or drizzled over roasted potatoes. This post includes 2 options—a homemade aioli and a quick cheater’s alternative!
Prep 15 mins
Total 15 mins
5 from 5 votes

If you’re a huge fan of vegan dips like I am, then you’re sure to love this Vegan Aioli recipe! It’s garlicky, savory, and so dreamy and the ultimate dip for potatoes. Plus, it’s so quick and easy to make!

You won’t find many restaurants that have ready-made batches of vegan garlic aioli. Good luck finding it in a store too. Thankfully, this typical egg yolk-heavy sauce is a breeze to make vegan using just a handful of everyday ingredients.

Please believe when I say the finished sauce is incredible. It’s creamy, luscious, garlicky, and rich. You’ll have a hard time believing it’s vegan (and nut-free). The best part is you can use it anywhere, like on top of grilled tofu skewers or crispy smashed potatoes, on veggie burgers, as a replacement for vegan sour cream, and so much more.

Table of Contents
1. Why this recipe works
2. Ingredient notes
3. Step-by-step instructions
4. Tips for making this recipe
5. What to serve with
6. Frequently Asked Questions
7. Recipe card

Blue plate with smashed potatoes and a bowl of vegan aioli with a spoon in it.

Why this recipe works

Creamy yet wholesome. No eggs needed. 
Traditional aioli recipes (AKA the ones that originated in the Mediterranean) are made in a mortar and pestle with just garlic, olive oil, and salt (naturally vegan!). But, it takes a lot of arm work to emulsify these ingredients and it breaks easily, so most modern recipes use egg yolks. Yet, eggs aren’t needed for a creamy, fluffy aioli. 

Here, we use tofu to build that creamy, luxurious body (it also has a neutral flavor). When blended up with some oil, firm tofu mimics the consistency of traditional aioli surprisingly well (and makes it more wholesome than your standard aioli) and acts as a natural thickener. Plus, without raw eggs, there’s no need to worry if it’s safe to eat!

Two variations included: easy and easier.
Okay, so I wouldn’t call this recipe anything other than easy. However, the cheater’s aioli I included is REALLY easy. Instead of using a food processor to emulsify the aioli ingredients together, the cheater’s version simply whisks vegan mayo, garlic, lemon, and simple seasonings together in no time.

A million and one uses.
This rich and garlicky sauce is endlessly versatile. Swap plain vegan mayonnaise for garlic aioli when you’re craving extra savoriness, use it as a dipping sauce or spread with both roasted vegetables and vegan junk food, or drizzle it over your favorite salad or grain bowl. It also happens to be a naturally vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free condiment, so you can enjoy it with all of your favorite snacks!

PS: If you’re looking for another flavor-heavy condiment that can be made in just minutes, my Vegan Ranch Dressing is a must-make!

Aioli with various vegetables on a round wooden serving board on a white table.

Ingredient notes

Aioli ingredients in various bowls on a cream counter.

Firm tofu. Blended tofu gives this vegan aioli a luscious texture and neutral flavor (plus it doesn’t hurt that it’s nut-free). Soft or silken tofu also works well, but you’ll need to squeeze out as much water as you can first to avoid a watery aioli. 

Using tofu also keeps this recipe nut-free for those dealing with allergies. If you happen to have a soy allergy, try the cheater’s aioli option instead.

Garlic. Finely grated garlic adds a bold, zingy flavor that’s essential to aioli, but briefly macerating it in lemon juice mellows its pungent bite.

Lemon zest and juice. This dip is bright, zesty, and zingy thanks to fresh lemon zest and lemon juice.

Aquafaba. AKA the liquid from a can of chickpeas. I usually reserve aquafaba for sweet vegan desserts, like my best-ever brownies and banana bread. However, making aioli with aquafaba gives it a frothy, whipped quality. 

Avocado oil. Aioli needs to be rich and avocado oil gets this done, no problem. It’s mild in flavor but if you prefer a stronger olive oil flavor, feel free to use extra virgin olive oil instead. I like to use half avocado oil and half extra virgin olive oil for extra flavor without overpowering the entire aioli.

White pepper. For a sharp and bright peppery flavor. Use black pepper if you can’t find white pepper.

Two crinkle-cut fries in a small white bowl of vegan aioli on a dark green table.

Step-by-step instructions

First, grate the garlic. A cheese grater or microplane will make this easy. 

Garlic grated on a cutting board next to a microplane.

Add the garlic to a bowl along with the salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard. Stir, and let the mixture rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This time will tone down the strong flavor of raw garlic.

Froth the aquafaba. Add the aquafaba to a food processor and blend until it’s frothy and light. Pour the garlic-lemon mixture into the processor and blend again. Lastly, add the tofu and blend one more time.

Add the oil. Slowly drizzle the oil into the spout while the mixture is blending. Don’t pour the oil in all at once.

Refrigerate. Transfer the sauce to a jar, airtight container, or squeeze bottle and place it in the fridge for a few hours. The time and cold temperature will help it thicken and allow the flavors to get to know each other.

Afterward, serve it any way you like and enjoy!

Want to save time? Make the cheater’s aioli recipe in the second recipe card instead! It’s quick and doesn’t require any tools except for a bowl. Plus, it’s outrageously delicious. 

Garlic aioli in a food processor.

Tips for making this recipe

Raw garlic is really powerful. 
Briefly macerating the garlic in the lemon juice, salt, and mustard mellows its sharp pungent flavor.

I recommend using a kitchen scale to weigh the garlic. If you accidentally use too much, the flavor can be overpowering.

Make sure the aquafaba is frothy. 
This can be hard if you’re using a large food processor. To ensure it becomes frothy and airy, hold the base of your food processor and slightly tilt it to the side so that the blades can reach the aquafaba.

Let it chill. 
Yes, you can use the aioli as soon as it’s mixed together, but it’s so much better after sitting in the fridge for a few hours! The texture will thicken and all of those amazing flavors will meld together.

spoon dipping into jar of vegan aioli, with lemon and garlic in the background.

Ways to use vegan aioli

  • Drizzle it over crispy smashed potatoes or roasted potatoes. 
  • Use as a dip for French fries or sweet potato fries for dipping, or for something lighter, pair with a crudités and cracker platter. 
  • Spread it on sandwiches or veggie burgers instead of regular mayo. It’s particularly amazing on a thick slice of ciabatta or sourdough with my BBQ tempeh piled on. 
  • Use it to make roasted vegetables taste even better. Especially good drizzled on cauliflower, broccoli, or cabbage (we love it over roasted cabbage with vegan sausage and sauerkraut), or serve it on the side for dipping.
  • Spoon some over tacos instead of vegan sour cream or crema. 
  • Swap the vegan Caesar dressing for garlic aioli. If it’s too thick, just thin it out with a splash of water. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you store vegan aioli?

Store the aioli in an airtight jar for 5 to 6 days in the fridge. I don’t recommend freezing it because it will separate upon thawing.

What is aquafaba?

Aquafaba is simply the liquid from a can of chickpeas. If your canned chickpeas are salted, add a bit less salt to the aioli, then taste and adjust as needed. 

I’m making the cheater’s aioli. Which vegan mayo do you recommend? 

We love the Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise the most here at RPL (it’s also widely available and relatively wholesome for mayo). The flavor is lovely and the texture is creamy, yet airy and not gloopy like traditional mayo. We also like Sir Kensington’s Vegan Mayo. 

Is there a soy free version?

Try the cheater’s aioli and use a soy-free vegan mayo, like Follow Your Heart Soy-Free Vegenaise. 

My aioli seems thin. What did I do wrong?

It’s possible you didn’t measure out enough tofu or accidentally measured too much of the aquafaba or lemon juice, but keep in mind that the aioli will thicken a decent amount when it chills in the fridge.

More creamy vegan dips and sauces

Blue plate with smashed potatoes and a bowl of vegan aioli with a spoon in it.

If you love this Vegan Aioli as much as we do, please be sure to leave a rating and review below :) It’s always much appreciated!

Vegan Aioli

5 from 5 votes
This vegan aioli recipe will quickly become your favorite garlic dip or spread. Enjoy this nut-free sauce as a salad dressing, on burgers, or drizzled over roasted potatoes. This post includes 2 options—a homemade aioli and a quick cheater’s alternative!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Course: Condiment, Dip, Dressing
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Serving size: 8 (1 heaping cup total)

Ingredients

  • 3 large garlic cloves (15g)*
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (155g) firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons aquafaba
  • ¼ cup (56g) avocado oil*
  • teaspoon white pepper, or several cracks of black pepper, plus more to taste

Instructions

  • Use a grater or microplane to grate the garlic. Add the garlic to a small or medium bowl, along with the salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard. Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes to mellow out the pungency of the garlic.
  • Drain the tofu, measure it out, and gently pat it dry several times.
  • Add the aquafaba to a food processor. Blend until the mixture is frothy (if your machine is large, you may need to hold the base of your food processor and slightly tilt the machine to the side so you can froth the aquafaba). Add the garlic-lemon mixture and blend again. Add the tofu and blend once more until the mixture is smooth.
  • With the center cap or spout open, slowly drizzle in the oil (do not add the oil all at once). Blend until very smooth.
  • Taste, adding more salt or lemon juice as desired. Add in the white pepper or black pepper. Transfer to a jar, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to thicken and to allow the flavors to meld together (you can serve it immediately though). Stays good in the fridge for 5 to 6 days.

Notes

* If you have a digital scale, weigh the garlic. Too much garlic can make the aioli overpowering.
** For a richer olive oil flavor, replace 2 TBSP of the avocado oil with extra virgin olive oil.

Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 315mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Cheater’s Aioli

5 from 1 vote
This cheater’s version of vegan aioli couldn't be simpler! Just whisk together vegan mayo, garlic, lemon, and a few simple seasonings. Creamy, dreamy aioli in no time!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Course: Condiment, Dip, Dressing
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Serving size: 12 (3/4 cup total)

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup (150g) vegan mayonnaise*
  • 3 garlic cloves (12 to 15g)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Several cracks of black pepper or ¼ teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

  • Use a grater or microplane to grate the garlic. Add the garlic to a small or medium bowl, along with the salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard. Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes to mellow out the garlic.
  • Stir this mixture into the mayo. Transfer to a jar, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

Notes

*We love the Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise (affiliate link) the most. We also like Sir Kensington’s Vegan Mayo. If soy-free, use a soy-free mayo like Follow Your Heart Soy-Free Vegenaise.

Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 5mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 0.3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.02mg

Recipe: Nisha Vora / Rainbow Plant Life | Photography: Rosana Guay and Nisha Vora

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @rainbowplantlife and hashtag it #rainbowplantlife

Leave a Comment & Rating

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider giving it a star rating along with your comment! It helps others discover my blog and recipes, and your comments always make my day :) Thank you for your support!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe




2 comments on Vegan Aioli

  1. Bosha

    5 stars
    Cette recette est Incroyable et tellement novatrice, c’est un atout de plus, vers le végétalisme !!!
    Sincères remerciements, pour cette invention spectaculaire, mais ou vas-tu chercher tout cela ?
    C’est un grand service que tu nous offres, car avec le manger végan, mes sauces sont devenus basique, quelle merveilleuse trouvaille !!!
    Mille Mercis à toi Nisha

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Merci pour les belles paroles, Bosha!

Development Alchemy + Aim